Where In the World Is 'Salvator Mundi'?

  • Detail of Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci

    Detail of Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of Christ painted as 'Savior of the World,' was called a rediscovered masterpiece...and now its location is unknown. This artwork's bizarre saga involves an image of Jesus getting a near-half-billion dollar world record auction price from a Saudi bidder at Christie's, plus authenticity naysayers, gushing conservators, public adulation, conspiracy theories, a Texas museum fail, a consortium of art dealers, a $380 million lawsuit against Sotheby's, a litigious Palm Beach-Monaco billionaire from Russia, an embattled Swiss "freeport king" and a secretive buyer who is drumming up even more intrigue by not disclosing its location and not commenting at all.  

Few facts are clear about "Salvator Mundi" by Leonardo da Vinci except that the artwork sold for a mind-boggling $450.3 million in November 2017, reportedly to a prince on behalf of the ruler of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Soon after the auction, the Abu Dhabi culture department said it would display the portrait at its Louvre branch, but then canceled the exhibit with no explanation. 

Museum officials have had no comment, or said they haven't seen the work, which has led to speculation about the controversial painting's whereabouts. Questions remain over whether it will surface for the upcoming major da Vinci blockbuster at the Louvre in Paris. (Leonardo's 17 known paintings, along with other works, are to be brought together to mark the 500th anniversary year of his death.)

From the New York Times:

Noting that it was never clear how Abu Dhabi might have acquired the painting from the Saudis in the first place — whether by a gift, loan or private sale — some have speculated that Crown Prince Mohammed might simply have decided to keep it. The Saudi embassy in Washington declined to comment.

More News Feed Headlines

Vermeer's The Concert.  Whereabouts unknown since the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft in 1990.

Art Detective Pushes the IRA Theory in Gardner Art Heist

  • April 22, 2019 19:20

Dutch art detective Arthur Brand told the Boston Herald that he's been in touch with the IRA, ...

Read More

Two of Tony Foster's complete watercolor 'Journeys' are on view at The Foster, Palo Alto, Calif.

The Extraordinary 'Journeys' of Artist-Explorer Tony Foster Remind Us That Everyday is Earth Day

  • April 21, 2019 22:48

“It was about the human need to revere certain natural places in the world.”— Tony Foster says of ...

Read More

Ursula von Rydingsvard, For Natasha, 2015; Cedar and graphite, 9 ft.  1 in.  x 6 ft.  7 in.  x 3 ft.  6 in.; © Ursula von Rydingsvard, Courtesy of Galerie Lelong & Co.; Photo by Michael Bodycomb

ARTFIXdaily Closed April 14 to 19

  • April 14, 2019 22:05

ARTFIXdaily is closed April 14 to 19 during a redesign of some features. Subscribers can look for ...

Read More

Opening June 15, 2019, "Visual Magic: Dali’s Masterworks in Augmented Reality," will include The Hallucinogenic Toreador by Salvador Dalí, 1968–1970.  ©Salvador Dalí.  Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí (Artists Rights Society), 2017 / In the USA ©Salvador Dalí Museum, Inc.  St.  Petersburg, FL 2017.

Salvador Dalí Museum Plans a $38 Million Expansion With More Augmented Reality Exhibits

  • April 09, 2019 19:00

The Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, has announced plans for a major $38 million ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire